California man pleads no contest to lesser charges in Maui murder case

Published On: Jun 08 2012 09:47:00 AM HST
Gerald Galaway Jr.

Gerald Galaway Jr.

WAILUKU, Hawaii -

A California man charged with murdering his girlfriend on Maui last year pleaded no contest to a reduced charge Thursday, according to the Maui County Prosecutor's Office.

Gerald Galaway, Jr. pleaded no contest to manslaughter and kidnapping in connection with the death of his girlfriend 35-year-old Celestial Cassman.

Each charge carries a maximum 20-year sentence.

Last September, Cassman's body was found after witnesses reported seeing her struggling with a man.

Autopsy results showed she died from asphyxiation.

Last year, Galaway had been hospitalized for injuries he suffered after jumping from a 100-foot cliff at the Nakalele Point area of West Maui, when he was allegedly trying to run away from police.

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